What To Expect From Your PPC Agency

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PPC advertising is simultaneously lucrative and daunting - click here to read our 5 things you need to look out for when hiring a PPC agency.

At the risk of sounding alarmist, if you haven’t started to seriously look at investing in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your business, not only are you losing out on revenue, but you’re falling behind your competitors. The numbers back it up — for every $1 you spend on PPC, you’ll get a $2 return (200% ROI), and with that in mind, it makes sense that 62% of marketers said they were increasing their PPC budget in 2020.

Straight away, it seems obvious you should jump on that PPC bandwagon, but if you’re spending a large portion of your advertising and marketing budget, you’ll want some strong and competent guidance. If your budget is over $10,000, we highly recommend you look for a PPC agency to help you navigate your way to PPC paradise.

Please note for the sake of this article, the term PPC and PPC agency is a catch-all term for Facebook ads, Google Ads Agency, Social PPC, Google PPC, and digital marketing agency services.. Let’s take a look at the 5 PPC-specific things you should expect when you hire a PPC agency.

1. Honest Advice: Is PPC Advertising Actually What You Need?

Look, we’ve thrown some hefty and impressive statistics at you, and no doubt you’re very keen to get the profit snowball rolling with this PPC thing. But there is… a but.

We wouldn’t in good conscience recommend PPC marketing to a prospective client if they didn’t actually need it — so you should definitely ask yourself whether you actually need it. A digital marketing agency is likely to push their offerings on to you in a big way, so ask them these questions to make sure they are not being disingenuously profit-hungry.

  • Is your website ready to handle more traffic resulting from successful social PPC/Google PPC advertising? If not, will they give you help and advice on how to rectify it?
  • Is there more you can do with your existing PPC advertising and marketing efforts — i.e. can you optimise what you already do before you spend money on another advertising/marketing channel?
  • Is your offering/niche even viable? Is there enough search volume for what you are offering to warrant investing in PPC advertising?
  • Will your Facebook Ads / Google Ads PPC budget give you the results you desire?

2. Cost-Efficiency: Should You Pay for a PPC Agency?

Assuming that you have neither the skills nor inclination to do your PPC strategy and implementation yourself, you do have options in terms of how you employ PPC expertise — yes, you can hire a PPC agency, or, you can hire your own in-house PPC expert.

Hiring A Digital Marketing Agency for Social PPC and Google PPC

Pros:

  • Large team of PPC experts at your disposal
  • Save time by delegating day-to-day management
  • Reduces overall complexity in marketing management
  • Potential cost savings in labour (no need for benefits, leave, etc.)
  • Get campaigns running and see results in a matter of weeks

Cons:

  • May be complex to integrate with an existing in-house marketing team
  • It may take more time for an agency to understand your needs
  • An agency will have other clients to focus on
  • Having a bigger team takes more time for communication
  • Only cost effective if your budget is $10k+ per month

Hiring an in-House PPC Expert

Pros:

  • One individual focused on your needs
  • Will know the inherent complexity of your business
  • Flexibility and speed of turnaround due to being direct employee

Cons:

  • Only one person for the workload
  • Labour cost will be higher (average salary for a PPC manager is $48,233 per annum)
  • You will be responsible for taxes, leave, health, etc.
  • Hiring in itself is a costly and time consuming process
  • Getting an employee to work at full efficiency might take time and a lot of training

In short, if your Facebook Ads / Google Ads PPC budget is under $10,000, an agency might not be worth your money, but you will still have to consider the cost of hiring your own in-house PPC expert. Each individual case is just that — so even if your budget is under $10k, discuss the pros and cons with both a prospective PPC agency as well as your local recruiter, and see what makes sense for you.

Your monthly advertising budget should influence your PPC management decision
Image source: Wordstream

3. Reporting: Regular, Comprehensive PPC Reports With Full Data Transparency

Social PPC and Google PPC advertising is unsurprisingly, all about data. Data provides the essential insights into your current and potential customers, so your PPC agency will know how to target and reach them effectively on your behalf.

Without solid data, a digital marketing PPC agency will rarely add to your bottom line, and even if they do, they’ll have no metric to back up how they did it. In essence, a PPC agency without excellent data tracking is just wandering the internet in the dark, and wasting your advertising investment.

Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager are the prevalent and absolute standard tools for managing your PPC data successfully. So of course any PPC agency that can spell ‘PPC’ will know these are the tools to use. They should also be a Google Partner Agency. However this doesn’t mean they will use these tools properly and effectively.

  • Ask the agency to what extent they use these tools, and then shop around to see who you are most impressed with.
  • Ask them to show you a sample report. They should be able to explain to you effectively, and in simple terms. If they are vague in any sense of the word or can’t explain something succinctly, run for the hills. You are not paying for ambiguity, you are paying for precision.
  • Ask the Digital Marketing/PPC agency what metrics they think you should be working towards to improve your profits. They should be able to explain clearly the likes of conversion rate, cost-per-click, position, etc., as well as advise you on what is right for your needs.

4. Excellent Communication

Because Social PPC and Google PPC advertising is largely data driven, sadly some PPC digital marketing agencies believe it is sufficient to mash some buttons, start a campaign, and it’s job done. The rest of us don’t live in that world, and we want to talk to humans to keep track of everything that’s going on.

  • Ask the agency how often you should expect to hear from them.
  • Will you have a go-to account manager?
  • Will they call you or email you?
  • What should you do if you have a question, and how much of your time will that take?
  • What do they expect from you in terms of communication and input, and are you able to dedicate sufficient time for that work?

5. Strategic Insight: How They Can Add Value to Your Business

So yes, PPC advertising is the main service you are paying for, but a truly competent and effective PPC/digital marketing agency will offer you a lot more. In the grand scheme of things (beyond simply improving profit margins), a great PPC agency will encourage you, as a partner, to improve the fundamentals of your online presence and business as a whole.

Here are some questions to determine whether a prospective PPC agency views your relationship as simply transactional, or as a long term relationship.

  • Will they do an audit of your website for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)?
  • Will they keep you updated if they notice future SWOTs?
  • How can your bricks and mortar/real life operations mesh and complement your online tactics?
  • Do they provide ongoing education?
  • Will they be able to provide networking opportunities?

Conclusion — What’s Next With Your PPC Advertising and Marketing?

PPC advertising is simultaneously lucrative and daunting — it’ll take some time to get your head around the intricacies of exactly what you need to improve your bottom line. With that in mind, we really do hope we’ve provided you with some genuine advice on how to get started with your PPC journey.

If we could part with one bit of advice, it would be to be discerning in your hunt for PPC expertise. Don’t let an agency bash you over the head with tech-speak, or get away with vague promises. You are the customer, and it is the agency’s job to work for you, with you, and educate you along the way.

If you’ve got any questions at all about what you’ve just read about hiring a PPC agency, please do contact us, we’d be glad to help.

Need more help? SOLID Marketing are first-class operators when it comes to finding more customers for brand owners and marketers. We’re not just good at it— we really do enjoy the challenge of making your site bristle with new visitors. If you think your business has room to grow, please do reach out to us — our team would be glad to help you.

Ruba Aramouny

Ruba Aramouny

As the founder and strategic director of Solid Marketing, Ruba helps companies of all sizes integrate PPC advertising and Email automation into their digital strategy for brand promotion, demand generation, and customer acquisition. Her clients include Fortune 500 corporations from the consumer goods and retail space, as well as industry-leading E-commerce and SaaS businesses.

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